Harry’s Ridge: A Stark but Beautiful Hike into the Mount St. Helens Blast Zone

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Boundary Trail

Sunshine, blacktail deer, bear sign, some ripe huckleberries, and a prehistoric landscape. From the Trailhead, only 5 1/2 miles north of the Mt. St. Helens Crater, I could see my destination, the 4,752-foot top of Harry’s Ridge.

Mt. St. Hellens from Harry’s Ridge

It was a sunny, clear day providing views of the growing lava dome inside the old crater, the pumice plain and landslide deposits. The forest that once covered the area is long gone with ghostly white and grey remnants of the old trees evident in every direction.

The Trail provides many views of Mt. St. Helens, Spirit Lake (where Harry Truman refused to leave his Lodge and died in the blast), Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood

In many ways the scenery is reminiscent of a Moon landscape. A few trees are growing, but the land is many centuries away from returning to its previous green splendor. It is a truly unique and amazing environment to meander through.

Another day to remember!

Steam coming from the growing lava dome in the old crater

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels

Mt. Adams over Spirit Lake

Paintbrush and Lupine like volcanic soil

Boundary Trail heading back to the trailhead, the Johnston Ridge Visitor Center barely visible in the upper end of the photo

Orange Agoseris, Paintbrush and Pearly Everlasting, Penstemon and Huckleberry

Mt. St. Helens

Blacktail Deer Fawn

The Johnston Ridge Visitor Center from the Boundary Trail

Harry’s Ridge

Fellow hikers on the Boundary Trail




Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: ,


  1. A beautiful reminder of the glory of mother earth in the Portland area.
    Ed Lyon

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